Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Pollyanna
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter


Jessica's favorite books »

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Friday 56: 10/29/10


Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.


"The brigand's sword withdrew to strike, and Friar Lorenzo sank to his knees in submission, clutching the rosary and waiting for the slash that would cut short his prayer." ~ Juliet by Anne Fortier

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday (10/26/10)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.   This week's list is in honor of Halloween!  List your top ten scariest books for Halloween.  Here are mine:

1.  The Shining by Stephen King:  This book creeps me out every time I read it (and I've read it a few times)!  The scene with him in the room with the dead lady in the tub....goosebumps!

2.  Coraline by Neil Gaiman:  Like everyone else said...the button eyes are freaky but the part that scared me the most was the disembodied hand at the end.  Totally creepy!

3.  Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill:  What else would you expect from the son of Stephen King?  I just finished this book a month or two ago and it actually gave me nightmares!  That's how I know it's a really scary book.

4.  It by Stephen King:  I still can't look at clowns without getting chills!

5.  Second Child by John Saul:  Really, any of his books freak me out but for some reason, this one did it so much that it sticks in my mind!

6.  Don't Close Your Eyes by Carlene Thompson:  I don't know why this book scared me so bad but I literally couldn't sleep for two nights after.  I had just moved to the house I live in now and my hubby was gone, working nights (he's a cop) and I was scared by every little noise after reading this!

7.  Wait til Helen Comes by Mary Downey Hahn:  Okay, so this may not be scary anymore but I remember reading this as a kid and it scared the heck out of me so I had to add it!

8.  Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews:  The whole series was pretty scary. 

9.  Divine Evil by Nora Roberts:  Just an evil book!  Talking about sacrifices and satanic rituals scares me!

10:  Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi & Curt Gentry:  Just thinking about Charles Manson gives me chills.  He was truly an evil man and the fact that this really happened makes it even more scary!

Teaser Tuesdays: 10/26/10

teasertuesdays31
 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
"For a while I just lay there, annoyed at the inconsiderate nature of Siena youth in general, and it took me longer than it shoudl have to realize that this was no ordinary gang rally, but a single biker trying to catch someone's attention.  And that someone, I began to fear, was me."  ~ pg. 211 of Juliet by Anne Fortier

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blog Hop Friday: 10/22/10

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!  So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING!

This week's question:   
"Where is your favorite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?"
 
My Answer:  My bed!  I have these great, fluffy pillows, soft flannel sheets and an amazing down comforter so I get all cozy and I can read for hours.  During the day though, my favorite place is my recliner.  Lately, since I've been homeschooling, I've been doing a lot of reading at my dining room table while my kids do their school work so I guess that will become my 3rd favorite place :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Review: Do Witches Make Fishes by Jason Mayo

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  "Do Witches Make Fishes?" is the moral tale of a young boy who favors candy over his mother's outlandish but healthy dishes. When faced with an ultimatum from his mother, the boy has to make a difficult choice. What ensues is a series of extraordinary and fantastical events that will take the reader on a magical journey through the imagination of a child. In the end, you will find yourself asking, Do Witches Make Fishes?

My Thoughts (and my kids' thoughts):  My 7 year-old and my 5 year-old loved this book!  My 7 year-old is a very picky eater and so he could relate to the young boy who didn't want to eat what his mom ate.  They thought the story was funny and they enjoyed the pictures.  I thought it was a cute, quirky tale with a good lesson in it.  Even my 2 year-old was laughing although I'm not sure he really knew what he was laughing at.  

I really like the idea that all the proceeds are going to the Madison Square Garden of Dreams Foundation.  It shows what a generous and caring man Jason Mayo is!

The kids rated this book: 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Giveaway!

Calling all parents!  My friend Marie, over at Martha-Wannabe, is having a great giveaway!  She is giving away a progress report for your child.  You can download many different things to work on from grades to manners to making new friends.  She is also giving away a subscription to her favorite magazine, FamilyFun and a Fall/Thanksgiving themed basket. 

I have been the recipient of one of her giveaways and can tell you they are well worth entering!  So head on over and sign up!

Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees by Susan Monk Kidd

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh, unyielding father, Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating, blurred memory - the afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Since then, her only real companion has been the fierce-hearted, and sometimes just fierce, black woman Rosaleen, who acts as her "stand-in mother."
When Rosaleen insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it's time to spring them both free. They take off in the only direction Lily can think of, toward a town called Tiburon, South Carolina - a name she found on the back of a picture amid the few possessions left by her mother.
There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters named May, June, and August. Lily thinks of them as the calendar sisters and enters their mesmerizing secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women. Maternal loss and betrayal, guilt and forgiveness entwine in a story that leads Lily to the single thing her heart longs for most.

My Thoughts:  I have to admit that I watched the movie first.  I actually had no interest in reading the book until after I fell in love with the movie and I could only imagine how much better the book would be!  I was not disappointed at all. I love this book!

The characters were eccentric, loving and fun!  I loved August and was wishing she were a real person that could envelope me in the hugs she enveloped Lily in.  It was a heart-warming novel that I think every young girl should read.  It was easy to read and I never once found it moving slowly or found myself being bored at all! 

This book was written beautifully!  There were so many things written in the book that I would love to quote but I am writing this at my in-laws house and the book is at home.  The one quote that really stuck with me was when Lily said, "People would rather die than forgive". I don't know if that is the exact, word-for-word quote and I can't tell you what page it was on but it was such a strong quote for me as I am personally dealing with some forgiveness issues in my life and I sat there and thought how true that really was.  And then I thought how sad that was.  There were many other things Susan Monk Kidd wrote that I actually stopped to think about because they were so real and applied to real life all the time. 

All in all, I have to say that I absolutely fell in love with this coming-of-age book!  I would reccomend this book to anyone and everyone!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Blogger Hop - October 15-17, 2010



In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!  So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING!

This weeks question:   "When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?"

My answer:  I actually try my hardest to finish it.  It doesn't always happen but I try.  I have a ton of book on my TBR list and lots of them are from the library so I have a time limit so I can't spend a lot of time on a book that I'm not enjoying but I usually try to read to the halfway point before I quit.  It has only happened a couple of times where i actually quit the book (The Poisonwood Bible is the only one that comes to mind right now) but I really hate doing it.  I'm always afraid that it will get better and I will have missed an important book! 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Here we go!

I just want to let all my followers know that for the next week or two I might be MIA.  I have taken my son out of public school and we are trying to get into the groove of homeschooling.  So, I know I won't have as much time to play around on here and I'm sure my reading will slow down slightly for a week or two but I will be back!  Maybe I'll even have some great hints for homeschooling after this!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Life Is Good Award

Wow!  Another award!  I am feeling very loved! Thank you so much to Tina at Book Couture!  I appreciate the award!


Rules: 
  1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
  2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
  3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
  4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.


Questions:
1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
I don't blog anonymously and I'm glad I don't.  I want people to have a little insight to my life so they can understand  my book reviews and my book choices.  I, of course, don't share anything private and only post what I want people to know but I have no regrets about not blogging anonymously.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
I absolutely refused to let my husband's best man take him to Vegas for his bachelor party.  It was not because I didn't trust him.  It was because his best friend is super rich and was going to pay for all the guys to go to Vegas for four days and I felt it wasn't fair to me or my girls.  If he had wanted to pay for all of us....now that would have been different but it caused a lot of tension.  The other reason was because he was going to kidnap my hubby and not tell me what was going on and I'm not cool with that.  So, just ask him about how stubborn I can be!

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
Honestly, I see someone who is tired because I read so dang late into the night!  I see someone who is confident enough with myself that I don't need other people's approval.  I see someone who is happy with her life, for the most part!

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?
Strawberry lemonade!  I love the stuff!
5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
I love to take a nice, hot bath wit a Lush bath bomb and a good book! 

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
I want to travel more and I would love to adopt a baby from Ethiopia or Russia.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?

I was shy!

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
When I got pregnant with my daughter (my 2nd child), my husband's grandma was dying of cancer.  She was an AMAZING woman!  About 3 weeks after she died, we had to have a special test done on our baby because a test determined that she may be a Trisomy 18 baby (which meant potential death upon birth).   We did not know the sex and the tech asked if we wanted to know because even though it was early, she had a very clear view.  We said yes and she told us the baby was a girl.  I think we both were crying because we said that if she was a girl we would be naming her after my husband's grandma.  Thus, we have Alexis Jean!

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
I have no problemns with sharing my true self in my blog.  That's what I started my blog for...to share my true self and opinions with others!

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Um, I am gonna have to say read, hands down!  I'm not a big phone talker!
Recipients:
Here are the lovely people with wonderful blogs I am passing on this award to:

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Weekend for Awards!


A huge THANK YOU to In the Outhouse for this award!  By the way, I love that blog so check it out!
Rules:
1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.
3. Contact those blog owners and let them know that they've been chosen.
The blogs I have chosen............


1.  Coffee and a Book Chick
2.  Reading without Restraint!
3.  Page Turners
4.  Should be Reading
5.  365 Days of Reading
6.  Book Infinity
7.  For One Mentally Ill Minute
8.  Her Book Self
9.  In the Closet with a Bibliophile
10.  Just One More Chapter
11.  My Words Ate Me
12.  Scarrlet Reader
13.  The Window Seat Reader
14.  YA Addict
15. Chrissie's Corner

Teaser Tuesdays: 10/5/10

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too


"My hands, I noticed, were shaking a little.  'Just tell me you aren't gonna say anything'  I said.  'It's your secret,'  she said.  'You do what you want with it.'"  ~page 79, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Versatile Blog Award #2


A HUGE thank you to Ginger at GReads for this award!  I get so happy when I know that people are enjoying my blog!

Here are the instructions for passing along this award:1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award
2. Write 7 things about yourself
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked to let them know about the award


7 Facts About Me
1.  I love candles!  I spend a ton of money on Scentsy, Party Lite, etc. 
2.  My favorite food is Clam Chowder.  I could eat it for every meal.
3.  My favorite store is Lush (it's an all natural soap/bath store)
4.  Fall is my favorite season. 
5.  My favorite actress is Audrey Hepburn
6.  My favorite movie of all time is My Fair Lady
7.  I really want to learn how to do ballroom dancing

Now to pass it on:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Yay! Some more awards for my blog!

So this is a new award for me so a huge thank you to Ashlie from Page Turners Gone Wild.  I really appreciate the award!
 
All you have to do for the Cherry on Top award is: 
1) answer the question "If I had the chance to go back and change one thing in my life, would I, and what would it be?"
2) Pick up to 6 people and give them this award
3) Thank the person who gave me the award.
 
So, if I had the chance to go back and change one thing in my like, would I?  I honestly have to say no.  I didn't have the easiest of childhoods.  My parents were awesome but I was molested by my dad's best friend and fellow police officer (unknown to my dad, of course!) and then struggled with anorexia BUT, even with all that, I wouldn't change anything because it made me such a strong person.  Plus, I believe that everything in life is connected.  If I hadn't gone through that, it might have changed the course of my life and I wouldn't have met and married my amazing, sexy and wonderful husband and I wouldn't have the three greatest, cutest, smartest kids in the world (okay, I may be a little biased...but just a little).  So, there is my answer.
 
Now on to the hard part...picking just 6 people to give this award too!  Here I go:
 
 
Thanks again to Ashlie for passing the award on to me!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Book Review: The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex. She lives on the Web, snarfs junk food, and follows the "Fat Girl Code of Conduct." Her stuttering best friend has just moved to Walla Walla (of all places). Her new companion, Froggy Welsh the Fourth (real name), has just succeeded in getting his hand up her shirt, and she lives in fear that he’ll look underneath. Then there are the other Shreves: Mom, the successful psychologist and exercise fiend; Dad, a top executive who ogles thin women on TV; and older siblings Ana├»s and rugby god Byron, both of them slim and brilliant. Delete Virginia, and the Shreves would be a picture-perfect family. Or so she’s convinced. And then a shocking phone call changes everything.

My Thoughts:  This book brought back so many memories of my high school years.  While I was never overweight, I hated my body to the point of starving myself.  I felt Virginia's insecurities, her anger at her dysfuntional family and her hurt at being ridiculed by the "popular" girls at school.  This book made me cry, laugh and want to throw things in anger for Virginia. 

This book touches on so much that a teen can relate too!  Virginia's mother, an adolescent psychologist, ignores all the problems in her own family and prefers to see her family as "perfect".  Virginia's father isn't a huge presence in the book but he's often at work or taking time with her older brother.  Anais, Virginia's older sister is away in the Peace Corps and Byron, Virginia's brother who she has always put up on a pedestal, treats her horribly and only when he gets in serious trouble does Virginia see how he really is.  This story touches on denial, body image, sexuality, eating disorders and slightly on date rape.  It is a book that I think most (older) teens will be able to relate too. 

The only thing I didn't like about the book was how quickly Virginia overcame her obstacles.  How easily the date rape issue was resolved and how it never resolved the issue of the girl with an eating disorder.  In real life, things don't get so easily resolved.  In one long weekend, Virginia overcame her insecurities and stood up to her parents.  She overcame her insecurities at school and everyone there accepted her and liked her.  It was just slightly on the unrealistic side in that aspect.

*As a parent, I would not let my pre-adolescent teen read this book.  It dealt with issues that I felt were too mature for anyone under the age of 16 but that is just my opinion and disclaimer*

Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Review: The Naturals by Sharon R C Petersen


The Naturals by Sharon R.C. Petersen is a children's book made up of 10 short stories about the Earth, weather and the moon and stars.  You will meet Cloudy, Starry, Moony and more in this book that inspires children to care for their environment. 

As a preschool teacher I am thrilled to receive this book and read it during our weather lesson and our stars and moon lesson.  What a great and fun way to learn about these things and the stories are simple and fun enough to keep preschoolers attention but interesting enough to keep my 7-year-old's attention as well.

I received this book this morning and my kids wanted me to read it to them immediately.  We read the whole book and they loved it!  The stories are simple, fun and full of good morals.  At the end of each story are discussion questions that my kids enjoyed discussing with me.  The pictures are beautiful water-color type pictures on almost every page so even my 2 year-old was kept interested most of the time.  My older kids, ages 7 and 5, love to learn and they said this book deserves five stars!  So, I rate this book:


Scared Sh*tless Reading Challenge

Do you get a sick pleasure out of things that go bump in the night? When you read a scary story, do you turn the lights down as far as you can and read by candlelight with a blanket over your head? Do you wait until nighttime to break out those macabre tales? Does the month of October make you giddy?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you're ready for Bites' Scared Sh*tless Reading Challenge! What is the Scared Sh*itless Reading Challenge you ask? Well that's simple! When you sign up for the Scared Sh*tless Reading Challenge, you're vowing to read something, or many somethings, horrifying during the month of October (and this does not include Sarah Palin's autobiography).
 
This challenge is hosted by Bites.  I love being scared!  I love Halloween!   I love watching scary movies and reading scary books so when I found this challenge I jumped on it!  Head on over to Bites and sign up!

Books that I am going to read for this challenge are:

The Shining by Stephen King (even though I have read it 100 times, it still creeps me out)!
The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna
Neverland by Douglas Clegg
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

The Friday 56: 10/1/10


A fun meme hosted by Storytime with Tonya!

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.


"We also discovered that we've both memorized the theme song to nearly every sitcom from the past decade."